If Translation Quality is King then Connectivity is Queen, Survey Finds

Translation quality is over four times more important than cost to corporates, according to a recent survey of over 550 respondents from dozens of countries across North America, Europe, and Asia-Pacific.

Translation software provider SDL found that for respondents “quality is king”. According to SDL Marketing Director David Morgan, “quality is the number one priority, but also the number one challenge.”

The Corporate Translation Technology Survey 2017 builds upon the findings of SDL’s Translation Technology Insights 2016. The most recent survey focuses exclusively on private and public sector organizations, examining what it takes to maintain translation quality at scale.

Outsourcing and Technology Issues

Findings show translation workloads are rising and recruiting qualified, in-house translators is difficult. And whilst levels of outsourcing are growing for some, poor connectivity between teams and technology is hindering the delivery of high quality translation at scale.

“Part of the challenge is finding the right fit of agency,” says Morgan. “Another part is having the right software and using it to its full advantage. Quality improves when there are good connections with partners: both literally, in terms of sharing information through system connectivity, and figuratively, in terms of communicating and collaborating.”

A New Way of Working

With internal demand for translation on the increase and project timelines shrinking, 94% of respondents say technology plays a vital role in addressing translation demand.

“Over 70% of respondents in NASA and EMEA already use computer-assisted translation (CAT) tools” says Morgan, “however nearly 50% of all content to be translated each year is new, meaning Translation Memories alone are not sufficient. Going forward teams need more support from their translation software.”

”With the recent advances in self-learning and neural MT is it easy to see why 61% of our respondents see machine translation (MT) as essential in coping with future translation demand” says Morgan. “If there’s one development that will have as much of an impact as the introduction of CAT did, MT is it.”

SDL’s “We need to talk – Corporate Translation Technology Survey 2017” is free to download now.